DND, AFP morale high, focused on mandate, says DND exec
MANILA, Philippines — Morale in the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is high despite the leadership issue now facing the military, a Defense official said Wednesday.
“I think there is no issue on the morale, the morale remains high, we are focused on our mandate,” Defense Undersecretary Angelito De Leon said in a press conference in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
De Leon said he is basing the assessment on the turnout of key commanders and officials of the AFP and DND during the traditional joint New Year’s call.
However, AFP spokesperson Col. Medel Aguilar did not give a definite answer when asked about the military’s morale.
“Let me just say that the AFP is a professional organization,” Aguilar told INQUIRER.net in a message on Tuesday when asked about the current morale status of the AFP.
Malacañang on Monday confirmed that Jose Faustino Jr. stepped down as the DND’s officer-in-charge. Presidential peace adviser and former AFP chief Carlito Galvez Jr. was appointed as the new Defense chief.
Faustino’s said he resigned following the reappointment of Gen. Andres Centino as AFP chief of staff, replacing Lt. Gen. Bartolome Bacarro. Centino formally assumed office on Saturday, January 7.
During the change-of-command ceremony for Centino, rumors of mass resignations in the DND circulated that stemmed from an unverified memo from the Philippine National Police (PNP). It placed the entire country under a “full alert status” following the reported mass resignations in the DND. The PNP vowed to launch an investigaion.
DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong later confirmed that five undersecretaries and four assistant secretaries of the DND had tendered their courtesy resignations after Faustino’s resignation.
READ: At least nine DND officials tender courtesy resignation — spox
Galvez urged the Department of National Defense officials to stay in their posts.
De Leon, one of the officials who tendered his courtesy resignation, said he and the rest of the officials had decided to stay after Galvez urged them to do so.
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